Girish Koushik in joint lead with Hovhannisyan
Chennai: FIDE Master Girish A Koushik of India shot into the joint lead with Armenian Grandmaster Robert Hovhannisyan with seven points, defeating GM Nils Grandelius of Sweden at the end of eighth round of the 50th World Junior Chess Championships.
With this win, Girish has earned a nine game GM norm from this event and is well placed to annex the title.
On the top table, Hovhannisyan scored a fluent win over erstwhile leader Italian IM Axel Rombaldoni to reach the joint lead with Girish. Despite the loss, Rombaldoni has gained a 9 game GM norm.
Girish, a former World Under 10 Champion, played white and faced the Grunfeld defence of Grandelius. He employed the classical system favoured by greats like Botvinnik. He opted for a very sharp system in the opening, keeping his king in centre and storming the opponent king. Grandelius sacrificed an exchange and forced an exchange of queens.
In the late middle game stage, it seemed Grandelius had clear advantage on queenside. But Girish slowly wove in Black king. When Granelius faltered on the 28th move, Girish activated his king to set up yet another mating pattern from which Black could not escape.
Faced with unavoidable checkmate, Grandelius resigned on the 34th move to hand over a full point, GM Norm and the lead to Koushik.
Indian GM B Adhiban scored a win over Polish IM Piorun Kacper. He has moved to six points to be on third spot.
In the 29th World Junior Girls Championship, WGM Cori T Deysi of Peru shot into lead with seven points with a fluent win over WIM Mammadova Gulnar Marfat Qizi of Azerbaijan.
Cori employed her favourite French defence and adopted the Winawer variation. Mammadova, playing white, side-stepped the mainlines to enter a sideline. But Cori played a sharp pawn advance to gain the initiative. Mammadova played a rash Knight move expoited by Cori to gain two pieces for a Rook.
Cori outclassed her opponent in 33 moves.
In the second table, erstwhile leader WGM Girya Olga of Russia scored a hard fought 72 move win over Kulon Klaudia of Poland to join Cori in the lead with seven points.
The Indian hope in this section, WGM Padmini Rout scored a resounding win over Russian Julia Dogodkina. Padmini faced the Philidor opening adopted by her opponent and using her space advantage to good effect, crashed open the centre.
Faced with multiple threats and huge loss of material, the Russian girl resigned on the 23rd move. With this win, the Indian girl is on 5.5 points and is slowly gaining her momentum back towards the podium finish.